Now is the Time to Get a Foot Into the World of Cybersecurity

By Roy Zur, Founder and CEO of Cybint

There's a growing demand for people to be trained in cybersecurity to help defend against a rising number of cyber threats against people, organizations, and governments worldwide. The field is fast paced and highly dynamic, and even people with a non-technical background can get started in this lucrative industry. Cybersecurity offers a vast selection of positions that focus more on problems related to humans, instead of technical ones that might come across as too abstract for certain people. These positions call for proficiency in other areas, such as privacy, security awareness and training, governance, security communications, and cyber law, and ethics. 

Sure, all that sounds great, except for one thing: There are far too many unfilled positions in this space. According to a report by The International Information System Security Certification Consortium—better known as (ISC)²)—the number of unfilled positions in cybersecurity presently stands at 4.07 million professionals, which has risen from 2.93 million this time last year. This includes 561,000 in North America and a staggering 2.6 million shortfall in the APAC region. The reason why is tied to the shortage of skilled workers in the industry, which in Europe has soared by more than double since the past year, from 142,000 to 291,000. 

Job satisfaction is king

It’s safe to say careers in cybersecurity are the ultimate careers of the future for three main reasons.

  • Career options are plentiful
  • They pay more than most other IT jobs, even at the entry level, by as much as a full 16 percent more — or about $13,000 — than the average for all IT jobs.
  • Positions in this field are far more stable than other positions in the tech sector, even in the post-pandemic world. 

A solid majority of people that are already working in the field of cybersecurity have every intention to stick with this field for those very reasons. It’s an ever-evolving space, with secure jobs that challenge them and leave them fulfilled.

But what about members of the workforce who are in completely different career paths? How can they go about making the career switch? What are the first steps?

Reskilling the workforce

The talent shortage in the field is best addressed by reskilling the workforce, which means retraining team members for new career opportunities. The most efficient way to handle this is through intense and accelerated programs that particularly focus on skills that are in demand for the job market.

The Cybint Bootcamp is an example of such a program. In just three months full-time (or six months part-time), the Bootcamp prepares people with little or no IT background to successfully pursue a cybersecurity career.

This intensive program got its start in Paris in 2018, through a collaboration with the French government, with multiple cohorts, totaling 58 trainees of varying demographics. Out of those trainees, 56 were placed into full-time jobs with reputable organizations, thereby making the post-completion employment rate 97 percent. Within the course of a year, many of those trainees (who originally got recruited into entry-level roles) went onto become managers with the same respective companies that had hired them.

How organizations can fill their own gap

One popular way that some organizations tackle the skills shortage issue within is by taking initiative and building cyber-resilient teams from the inside.

They do so by picking up the cost of cybersecurity training for their employees. In building their cybersecurity teams, 70 percent of organizations give priority to training and promoting from within, according to (ISC)² research. Fifty seven percent offer training and certification opportunities to employees to strengthen their teams, and 55 percent offer cross-training on cybersecurity skills and responsibilities.

Organizations help themselves by ensuring their employees get the training they need to advance professionally. Within a matter of months, the team members that complete training will be experts in areas that include cloud computing security, risk assessment, network monitoring, and regulatory compliance.

While there are plenty of certification programs out there, they ultimately fall short on the fact that the training behind those programs don’t translate to a well-rounded set of cybersecurity skills. Intensive remote programs offered by institutions such as Plymouth State University offer a greater, more comprehensive set of cyber training to bridge the cyber employment gap in the workforce. Individuals and organizations alike can sign up for such programs.

Seize the opportunity

While the current financial landscape may seem rocky, there is no time like the present for anyone who is unemployed, underemployed, or simply looking to switch careers to get a foot into the world of cybersecurity. According to conservative estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cybersecurity sector is expected to grow at 37 percent per year all the way to 2022. There truly is no need for prior IT experience to get in on the action, as there are relevant transferable skills in other departments, such as legal, finance, HR, and marketing, that fare extremely well in most cyber positions. Anyone with an analytical mind, familiarity with sensitivities tied to compliance, or a clear understanding of how data flows through organizations can easily pick up on the basics and a multitude of tracks that branch out of cybersecurity.

About the author:

Roy Zur is the founder and CEO of Cybint, a cyber education company. As a retired Israeli Defense Forces Major, Roy has more than 15 years of experience in cybersecurity and intelligence operations and has developed cyber education programs and technological solutions for companies, educational institutions and government agencies around the world.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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